Mertensia – Virginia Cowslip, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

Perennial Flower Information

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Cenothera – Evening Primrose, Sundrops

The Evening Primroses are
among the truly beautiful plants which anyone can grow
in his garden. The plants grow from 1 foot to 2 feet
high, spreading out and producing many satiny, Poppy
four-petalled flowers of white, light rose and varying
shades of yellow.

SPECIES. Cenothera fruticosa
and its varieties, Fraseri and Youngii, have rich, golden
yellow flowers produced freely from June through September.
It is one of the most commonly seen Evening Primroses,
growing 2, feet tall.

C. speciosa is the commoner
white sort, of “lazy looking habit;” the unopened buds
are drooping. The flowers, as they mature, gradually
turn pink. The leaves are divided.

C. missouriensis. This startling
species produces golden flowers, 5 inches across, upon
low, trailing plants. The flowers are followed by large,
winged seed pods, so large for the size of the plant
that they seem unnatural. The foliage becomes reddish
in the Autumn. This sort is sometimes catalogued as
C. macrocarpa.

C. biennis and C. Lamarckiana
are biennials which have become weeds in most gardens
and for this reason they are not greatly admired although
they are praised in European catalogs for their height
and wealth of yellow blooms.

These plants open their flowers
toward evening and close them in the morning, hence
their common name. Most of them, however, are open through
the day as well as during the evening.

UTILIZE. Evening Primroses
are handsome plants for the rockery, for the border
and for bedding designs. The flowers are fragrant and
therefore are useful as cut flowers. They are beautiful
when massed in front of shrubbery or planted in the
wild garden, for the clusters of flowers are very fragrant
and the bees are always around them.

GENERAL. Cenotheras sometimes
become “weeds” because the plants spread fast: They
grow well in any ordinary situation, in welldrained,
moderately rich soil. They need moisture and the soil
should be prepared as deeply as it is possible to get
good moisture. The clumps need not be transplanted often.

PROPAGATION. Many of the
species increase by producing small tufted plants at
the base of the old ones. When the plants are divided
it should be done in early Spring, in March or April.
They are easily grown from seeds.


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